We stayed in this hotel for 3 nights in the beginning of July. This hotel is located in the most touristy area of Istanbul – Sultanahmet which is the Old City. Some people try to avoid staying in this area but I think it was a great place to be. You’re steps away from the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, which are both really great sites to see. This hotel is only a 10 min walk to the tram which will take you to any area you want to go to.
The rooms were very nice and comfortable. I think this hotel should be listed as a 3 star hotel though. I think ive seen it listed as 4 stars on some sites. The staff were very accommodating and helpful and made any and all arrangements we needed. Breakfast was included in our package which was quite tasty. All in all we got a very homely vibe from this hotel and I would stay there again.
As far as the sights go ---
You’re about a 20 min walk (or a 5 min tram ride) from the Grand Bazaar which you must go to! It’s a huge indoor bazaar where you can get all sorts of Turkish goods. Try to go before 3pm so you have a better chance of negotiating.
Although we went to the Topkapi Palace I wasn’t that impressed with it. They show you old jewels and clothes that the Sultans wore but it wasn’t for me.
We never ended up going to the Basilica Cistern although we heard it was cool.
The spice bazaar was OK. I think the grand bazaar was better because you can actually buy stuff from there. Unless you’re interested in buying spices, I don’t think there is much of a point to go here.
Unfortunately we didn’t do the Bosphorus Cruise because we didn’t have enough time but we heard it would have been a wonderful experience.
You should definitely try to go to a Turkish Bath while you’re there. Its an experience, to say the least. You get taken to a hot stone where you lay in a room that is like a sauna and then someone will come and bathe you and scrub you down. Its definitely awkward, but only for a few mins. Its one of those things you must do if you’re in Turkey.
We didn’t use a tour guide for Istanbul and I don’t think you need to use one at all. Its an easy city to navigate throughout and when you walk and travel throughout the city on your own you get to experience more. However, when you go to the Hagia Sophia I highly recommend you take a guide up on their offer to explain the history of the mosque to you. It is one of the most beautiful sights of Istanbul and there is such a great history there. We went in without a guide and immediately realized how essential a guide would be for this site, so we hired someone that approached us.
As far as meals go –
it is known that restaurants in Sultanahmet don’t offer great food, so try to avoid that area if you can. We had a great meal at “360 Istanbul” which I highly recommend. We really enjoyed smoking hookah at the hookah bars that are all around Istanbul, especially Taksim Square. We also enjoyed hookah in the outdoor restaurant which was right outside of the Blue House hotel.
You MUST go to Reina. This club was unbelievable. Im from New York City and ive been to clubs in many cities throughout the country and the world but Reina was a crazy experience. It was vegas status. You wont regret it!!
by the way, because this hotel is close to the Blue Mosque, you may be woken up by the early morning prayer call. It caught us by surprise!
We stayed in Istanbul for 3 days and 3 nights. I would say that was enough. It’s the kind of city that you can stay at longer and you’ll find stuff to do. But if you want to just quickly check out all of the main attractions and enjoy the city for a bit, then 3 days is enough
After our Istanbul stay we headed to Cappadocia and stayed at 40da Cave Suite, so check out my review for that if you’re interested!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our hotel is located at the heart of old city, just opposite to Blue Mosque, very close to Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar and many other historical sites. There are 25 standard rooms and one suite room. All rooms have air-condition, minibar, cable TV, direct telephone line, wireless internet access, hair-dryer and private bathroom with shower. Some rooms have view of Blue Mosque. Safety deposit boxes and high speed internet accessed computer are in lobby ready for our guests as complimentary.You can enjoy your breakfast at open air garden restaurant, under the shadow of Blue Mosque. Terrace Restaurant is ready to welcome you for lunch and dinner with its breathtaking views of Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Sea Marmara. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Blue Hotel Mavi Ev